Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cultivating Creativity, Part 1

For some reason, I've been thinking a lot about creativity lately.  One of the most intriguing things for me about creativity is how it is something that needs to be cultivated.  I think some people say they are not creative the same way others say they cannot sing.  But I don't think this is true.

Rather, I agree with a teacher I had when I was a music education major who said everyone is born with the ability to sing.  But along the way, some people are told either by themselves or others that they cannot sing, and so over time, and because they don't exercise their singing voice, eventually that becomes their reality.

Similarly, I recently heard someone say that most kids are born artists.  The challenge is to remain an artist as you grow up.  For me, this is where creativity comes in.  In my opinion, it is something that we need to practice, cultivate, and nurture.  It may not necessarily come easy, and yes, there will always be someone who is more creative than we are, but the ability to be creative is inside each one of us.

I say this because I believe we are created in the image of God, like the Bible tells us (Genesis 1:26).  And since we know that our God is one who is inherently creative, creating life in a variety of ways everyday, then I think it's safe to say that we were born to be creative too.

With this in mind, I've come up with a few ideas on how we can all help foster the creativity inside us.  Perhaps one of them will catch your eye and your interest enough for you to give it a try.
  1. Take a 20 minute walk everyday.  As you walk, be intentional about noticing what you see, smell, hear, and feel.  It's amazing how just this short amount of time outside can make you feel more connected and inspired.
  2. Make a list of things you love (or things that make you happy).  Doing so will likely open up your eyes to all the wonderful things in your life and help you notice others you hadn't really noticed before.
  3. Try a new recipe.  This is one of my favorite ways to stretch myself (and my family's taste buds) a bit.  The recipe doesn't have to be fancy or require expensive ingredients.  Just making something out of the norm is helpful.
  4. Take a nap.  We so often try to shove so much into our days and force ourselves to come up with great ideas instantly.  Sometimes just giving your mind a few moments to shut off is all you need to come up with something you hadn't thought of before.
  5. Listen to music, especially music without words.  You've all heard it said, "Music can speak what words cannot."  It can also stir up creative juices you didn't even know you had.

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